You Have to Check Out Everything Cazzie David Spilled About Pete Davidson and Ariana Grande’s Romance

In her new book of essays, "No One Asked For This," Cazzie David breaks her silence for the first time about her 2018 breakup from Saturday Night Live's Pete Davidson.

By Tierney Bricker Nov 17, 2020 1:00 PMTags
Watch: Did Ariana Grande Call Out Ex Pete Davidson in "Positions"?

While breakups are universal, none are quite like the one Cazzie David experienced in 2018.

Just days after the comedian and actress ended her two-year relationship with Pete Davidson, her ex-boyfriend instantly became half of one of the biggest celebrity couplings in recent history. Within a six-month span, the Saturday Night Live star and superstar Ariana Grande began dating, got matching tattoos, gushed about their one-of-a-kind, soul-shifting love and then broke up. (And did we mention there was a hit song and album to come out of it all, too?) But while they were very publicly living out their love story, David was privately coping with her heartbreak—until now. 

Though neither Davidson nor Grande are named in the book, it's pretty clear which whirlwind and much publicized romance David—the daughter of Curb Your Enthusiasm's Larry David—is writing about in No One Asked For This, her new collection of essays that was released on Nov. 17. And how all of the breathless reports made her feel

"My panic and shame were so far past overdrive, I couldn't articulate what it was I was even feeling," she wrote. "The fact that people were talking about me at all, let alone talking about me being dumped on such a large scale, was a nightmare my psyche was not equipped to handle."

Ariana Grande & Pete Davidson: Romance Rewind

Now, two years after it all went down, the 26-year-old is opening up for the first time about her relationship with Davidson and what it was really like watching her ex move on with one of the biggest stars in the world.

Here are the biggest bombshells from David's book...

Cazzie Technically Ended Their Relationship...

After two and a half years of dating, Cazzie David planned to break up with Pete Davidson just before going on an extended trip with her family to South Africa in May 2018. 

Describing it as "an exceptionally hard task," Cazzie wrote it made her sick to her stomach "to think about hurting someone, let alone someone you love, let alone someone who is codependent...the first time we met, it was immediate grotesque middle school crush infatuation. And that feeling never subsided."

While they were "kindred spirits," Cazzie explained Pete's mental health struggles had taken a toll on her. 

"Previously, self-harm and suicide threats had come about from trivial circumstances, incidents that would go from 0 to 100, which were so momentarily urgent, like the last minute of an escape room before the time goes off, except I'm the only one in the room and all the clues are tricks," she recalled. "Once he was back in a good headspace, I wouldn't be able to bring myself to do it either; I was too mentally exhausted to do anything besides emotionally recover from the chaos of the week before."

But Pete Made Their Break a "Permanent One"

In a moment of weakness, Cazzie revealed she called Pete just a few days after initially calling things off with the intention of reconciling. 

"He told me he was now the happiest he had ever been, and he wanted to continue our time apart," she recalled. "This 180 wasn't what I'd expected, but it wasn't unfamiliar. I said okay and that I loved him, tears streaming down my face, and he hung up quickly."

And it was shortly after that phone call and a flippant break-up text message that Cazzie discovered the Saturday Night Live star had moved on while was aboard an airplane with her father, Larry David

"I scrolled through Twitter and saw that my ex of one day had a new girlfriend," she shared. "I think I probably left my human body. My dad held me as I shook uncontrollably in his arms for the entire flight."

The Tattoos

Two days after receiving the text message from Davidson officially ending their relationship, David was unprepared when she opened Instagram to see a new post from her ex.  

"The first thing I saw was a picture he'd uploaded of himself with his hand covering his face to show off his new finger tattoos," she wrote. "My name, which had been written in cursive across his ring finger, was now covered over with black ink."

But that wasn't the only Cazzie-related body art that the comedian ended up altering. "Another tattoo he had of my favorite emoji (yes, I know how f--king absurd that sounds) was now replaced with a matching tattoo he got with her of what I guess was her favorite emoji."

That her, of course, being Ariana Grande

The Surprising Similarities in the Relationships

The first official photo Pete and Ariana posted of each other on social media to confirm their romance was the pair sporting Hogwarts robes from a visit to Harry Potter World, a "stereotypically millennial " date destination that also served as the setting for Cazzie's first outing with the SNL star. 

"There, we bought the same matching sweatshirts they wore in the photo, except mine was Ravenclaw and hers was Slytherin, which is too ironic to make a joke about," she revealed.

Cazzie also noticed another trend when Pete sported a hair tie around his wrist in an Instagram photo he posted before it was revealed he was dating the "Positions" singer.

"He used to always take my hair ties off my arm and put them on so he could 'wear a piece of' me," Cazzie recalled. "I felt like I was being terrorized."

She then wondered, "Was he just repeating everything I'd thought had made our relationship special with someone else one day later?"

The Social Media of it All

During Pete and Ariana's whirlwind romance, it was hard for anyone to not to stumble upon them on any social media app, let alone his devastated ex-girlfriend. 

"Even though it wasn't a regular relationship or even a regular celebrity relationship. It was abnormally unavoidable; everywhere and obsessed over by everyone," Cazzie reflected. "Even people's out-of-touch parents knew about it. The two of them offered their relationship to the media eagerly and with pleasure, like a suicidal brunette walking into Ted Bundy's apartment. Okay, like me walking into Ted Bundy's apartment."

While she tried her best to avoid any coverage of their romance by not looking at her phone, "the few times I did, I'd come across their new photos or tattoos or statements and the relentless articles," Cazzie wrote. "I avoided the Explore page at all costs. It was a legitimate war zone; any scrolling would have killed off the few living cells I had remaining."

She went on to admit she kept track of her friends who "'liked' something that implied support for either of them," explaining she felt "betrayed" by that double-tap. "I couldn't see past my own experience, and so it was as if the entire internet was pouring alcohol all over my open wound."

Finally, she wrote, "You'd have no choice but to quit, right? Like, quit your phone and quit life."

Can't Stop the Music

Avoiding your ex and his new girlfriend is particularly tough when she is one of the most famous pop stars in the world and her music is played everywhere. 

After sobbing in a Washington D.C. club's bathroom to her sister's sorority sisters about the split, Cazzie ended up leaving the venue after one of Ariana's songs came on. (Ironically enough, "on the way back to the hotel, my manager texted me to remind me not to say anything to anyone about what was happening or it could end up on the internet," she wrote.)

Cazzie later admitted, "I cannot adequately put into words the type of aggravation that occurs after eight days in a row of waking up with one of her songs about being really good at sex stuck in your head. It felt like an authentic form of torture meant to personally make me go insane forever."

Dealing With Arianators

Shortly after news of Pete and Ariana's romance broke, Cazzie "masochistically" decided to check her Instagram notifications only to find countless messages from Ariana's fans. 

"They really wanted to make sure I knew I was inferior to her in every way," Cazzie wrote , which is absurd because, like, how stupid do you have to be to think I would not be aware of that at this moment in time?"

Turning to her friends for support, Cazzie recalled a phone conversation with a friend in which they compared Grande to a "f--king little bunny" and dubbed her "Instagram hot." Cazzie, meanwhile, was described as "Renaissance painting-pretty." (She would prefer to be a "hot video-game character," by the way.)

Despite her best intentions, "the comparisons wouldn't get out of my head," Cazzie admitted. "I know you're not supposed to compare yourself to other women, blah-blah-blah, but how the f--k could I not when other people were?"

The Millennial Jennifer, Brad and Angelina

"At least Jennifer Aniston got to be…you know…Jennifer f--king Aniston."

That's how David wanted to respond when her friends tried to console her drawing comparisons to how the Friends star handled the Brad Pitt-and-Angelina Jolie love triangle the dominated the tabloids almost two decades prior. 

"And Brad and Angie weren't commenting on each other's Instagrams saying they were the loves of each other's lives after a week," Cazzie continued. "They weren't defending their own actions by throwing their former partners under the bus or spreading gratuitous PDA all over the internet."

For David, who suffers from anxiety, seeing all of the attention Pete and Ariana's romance was receiving made her want to "self-induce a coma and not wake up for years, but even years didn't seem like it would be enough time to feel normal."

She continued, "Never waking up would be my first option. I don't know, I think intensely wanting to die is the only thing you can truly feel as a result of watching the entire world fawn over people who are simultaneously bringing you so much pain."

Learning About Their Engagement

Pete infamously proposed to Ariana after just one month of dating. Which is precisely when Cazzie was nearing the end of her family trip to South Africa and feeling "a newfound sense of acceptance and relief" about the situation.  

"My brain was allowing room for other observations and thoughts and the f--king songs finally stopped being stuck in my head," she wrote. But, just as she was about to get on a 16-hour flight, her manager called.

"She told me they were engaged." Cazzie revealed. "And I laughed."

Four months later, Ariana and Pete would call off their engagement

Where Cazzie and Pete Stand Now

While she admitted to being "blindsided" by how their relationship ended and felt "humiliated" by how quickly he moved on, one just has to look to Cazzie's message to Pete in her acknowledgements to see that she's grateful for her ex.

"Pete: I love you," she wrote. "Thank you for being encouraging when you did not have to be. Your bravery inspires me and your friendship means the world to me."

No One Asked For This is available now.